Tallahassee barber reacts to governor allowing shops to reopen

Published: May. 8, 2020 at 11:10 PM EDT
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By: Brandon Spencer | WCTV Eyewitness News

May 8, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- On Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis, with the help of a middle Florida barber,

as the state continues to re-open due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"The thing is, about being a barber, it's great; you're flexible and able to make your own hours and everything, but the problem is that we don't have paid leave," said barber Jorge Perez. "We're self-employed and we're not able to make money unless we work."

Perez says he can't wait to get back to work, but with plans to open a business near college campuses in the coming months, he's unsure what his clientele will look like.

"For a legal standpoint, it's great that we're opening back up. However, our economy here, especially as a barber where a lot of my clientele are students, it's very much based upon having the students here in Tallahassee," he said.

Some aren't so sure.

Tallahassee residents on Friday said that they won't go back once they reopen.

"Maybe there are people who think it's a necessity and they will be there, but I wouldn't be the one to go right away,' said Trinidad Pascual.

Jarius Williams added, "We do not have a vaccine yet, which is one of the reasons I am not going. You can see I need a haircut, but I'm not going."

The businesses will be required to make employees wear masks and gloves while only taking appointments, a prospect that some believe will be disregarded.

"I hope they're wiping down their clippers and whatever they use in hair salons and doorknobs and everything," Williams said. "I just don't see them doing it for every single person."

In the mean time, Perez plans on pushing forward in hopes of being a business owner.

"I think people underestimate how much the economy being closed down really effects people and their families, so we have to find some kind of middle ground here," he said. "Be conscious about what we're doing, our safety practices and just open back up, man."

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